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Fishing 'the tap'with Yorkshire Baits

Mark Harrington fishing bowsaws lakes


Mark Harrington

Venue fact file - Yorkshire Baits, Bowsaws Fisheries

Bowsaws and Billhook fisheries is sponsored by Yorkshire Baits

Bowsaws is a typical south of England commercial carp fishery, the venue is sponsored by Yorkshire Baits, there are two similar sized lakes with 30 pegs on each.

Bowsaws is the specimen lake with carp to 30lb recorded and is solid with smaller fish. Billhook is the second lake at the complex and is predominately used for matches with carp up to 6lb, skimmers, odd bream, and F1's.

Angler - Mark Harrington, Mark is sponsored by Garbolino Appollo, Yorkshire Baits and of course Talk Angling.

The bait requirement for the 5 hour session -

3 bags 6mm Yorkshire baits expanders
1 pot Yorkshire Baits hooker pellets, natural
3 Bags Yorkshire baits paste

bowsaws lakes

Yorkshire Baits Bowsaws and Billhook, Marks record speaks for itself - in 10 matches in a row this autumn Mark had 7 wins and 3 second places, this includes both the 3 hour and 5 hour match records of 138lb 10oz and 212lb 8oz all achieved with fish averaging 1-2lb and using Rob Hitchens new range of Yorkshire Baits pellet.

Billhook lake holds most of the open matches and is absolutley stuffed with fish, the lake itself has 30 pegs and enough fish for a 60 pegger! The main target are the F1's and small mirrors.

On Billhook Mark explains that "the key to building a big weight is to attack the venue positively and catch the F1's regularly, these F1's are excellent sport and finding where they are in your peg and keeping them there is the essential ingredient in big match wins here!"

Marks rig and bait requirements could not be much simpler, only needing 2-3 bags of 6mm expander pellets and a pot of the natural hooker pellets. With the natural pellet hookers you get an additive with them - just simply pour this over the hookers, this gives one of the best ever up in the water pellets Mark has ever used as he explains that the additive is crucial as it leaks from the pellet attracting the fish - the same pellets without the additive just dont give the same results!

As for his expander pellets Mark pumps them three times just to be sure they all sink, then leave them in a bucket for 30 minutes covered with water until they are spongy then just drain them off on top of a riddle. Dont squeeze them like many anglers do, as this will just lead to some of them floating during your session - then just bag them up. When you get to your peg cover them in lake water in a grounbait bowl and you are ready to go!

Mark Harrington

Rigs could not be simpler, this venue is an out and out pole up in the water and down the edge job... So three rigs will cover everything today -

The first rig (if you can call it that) is a 6" long piece of silstar 0.16 with a size 10 PR22 hook, this has no float, just attach straight to the elastic and ready to go! This is the "Tapping" rig.

The second rig is a small dibber - 4x10 tied to .14 silstar and size 14 PR22.

The third rig is another 4x10 dibber, 0.16 silstar and 10 PR22 and is Mark's choice for down the edge paste.

At Bowsaws it seems early on in the session the fish dont respond to alot of feed. So Mark sets off feeding 6 expanders every 10 seconds or so - the F1's however do respond to the noise and this is the trick here, buy tapping the pole on the surface of the water Mark creates a noise similar to that of the pellets hitting the surface, the fish respond to the noise coming up in the water to feed and can even take the pellet while the pole is being shaken!

Mark quickly tries to establish a routine, tapping the surface for about 10 seconds continuosly, stops for a few seconds then feeds 6 expanders, pauses, lifts the rig and drops it where the pellets have just landed...... jackpot - the elastic comes ripping out of the end of the pole! This just has to be one of the most exciting methods of catching carp!

Mark says if you keep this system going you wont go far wrong, and you can soon find out exactly how to play around with different feed patterns and get the fish really having it and confident in your peg. It takes around 15 - 20 minutes before the method really starts to kick in and Mark then has the fish beginning to get into a feeding frenzy. As the fish become more confident Mark ups the feed and taps the pole more, hence the need for so much expander pellet, once Mark has them going crazy he shortens his rig to 4" and continually lifts and drops the pole to keep his hook pellet moving in amoungst the free offerings.

The fish in the Billhook are eating machines, there is no need to be shy trying to catch them quick! They average 1.5lb, and Mark finds that by feeding the expander pellet he doesnt fill them up too quickly. If its slightly cooler a quick change to the dibber fished 2ft deep can often pay off as they may not come right up to the tapping rig, but again the lifting and dropping continuosly is an important tactic.

All this time Mark has been feeding a down the edge line with pellet - he explains this is his back up plan and hopefully will not need to fish it but this is why he has bought some paste for later on in the session. As it turned out on the day Mark was able to catch on his long line and didnt fish down the edge, but this is where the bigger fish live so its definately worth a try. Mark ended the session with 79 carp for an estimated 150lb and made it look easy!

Bowsaws lake is the specimen lake and has carp to 30lb with lots of 2lb stamp mirrors and is solid with small fish averaging 3oz. Mark came second in a recent match with 69lb 10oz with 55lb of the weight consisting wholly of goldfish caught at 3M on his top kit to hand, Mark fed slopply groundbait and maggot - so this is a true mixed fishery - the next of goldfish is shown below!

Bowsaws is now stocking the full range of Yorkshire Baits products and they are working well on both lakes!

Goldfish central! 

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